Ten teams entered the Cicero Cup tournament at Cowdray Park with La Irenita and La Berta both making their way to the Final which took place at Ambersham on Monday 27th May.

Gilberto Sayao (0) wore the number 1 shirt for La Irenita with Leon Donoso (3) at number 2, Marcos Araya (6) at 3 and Matias Mac Donough Jnr (6) in the Back position. For La Berta, Bruno Bensoussan (0) was positioned at number 1, with Santiago Araya (4) at 2, Juan Gris Zavaleta (7) at 3 and Juan Cruz Araya (4) at Back.

La Irenita rode into the Final following their victory in the subsidiary match for the Paul Withers Memorial Trophy. Sheldon Withers presented the Memorial Trophy to a delighted Gilberto Sayao.

The Final for the Cicero Cup started slowly for La Irenita however, with the team failing to make it onto the board by the end of the first chukka. La Berta stole the first two goals thanks to excellent attack from Zavaleta, leading the game 2-0.

The action heated up a notch in the second chukka, Mac Donough Jnr and Marcos Araya traded goals to take La Irenita into the lead 3-2 despite the defensive efforts of Juan Cruz Araya and Juan Gris Zavaleta. A welcome breakthrough for La Berta allowed Zavaleta to score his third goal of the match and level the score at the whistle 3 a-piece.

A tightly fought third chukka ensued, with both teams giving their all in the centre of the field. Mac Donough Jnr lead the charge for La Irenita, taking his team into the lead with a lovely early goal before Zavaleta was able to reply with three consecutive goals. Excellent teamwork from La Berta who now stood 6-5 ahead gave them a short lived advantage as intense play continued. Mac Donough Jnr once again played a lovely shot on goal to close the gap and level the scores once again. As the teams look set to remain at stalemate, Bruno Bensoussan scored for La Berta, ending the third chukka 7-6 to La Berta.

There was all to play for as these well-matched teams entered the fourth chukka. In an extraordinary streak of attacks, Mac Donough Jnr scored three consecutive goals to place La Irenita firmly in the lead. Playing defensively, La Berta were unable to score in the fourth chukka, resulting in a strong lead for La Irenita as the teams faced the final chukka 9-7.

Juan Cruz Araya was determined to turn the game back in La Berta’s favour with a goal in the opening minutes of the fifth chukka. Marcos Araya quickly replied with a goal for La Irenita, followed up by Mac Donough Jnr. Despite defensive play from La Berta, Mac Donough Jnr’s final two goals handed another victory to La Irenita with the final score 12-8.

Prize giving took place at the Ambersham Clubhouse, with Gilberto Sayao stepping down from the podium to receive the Cicero Cup from X-Zony’s Pete Walters. The X-Zony rug for the Best Playing Pony was presented to Espi Panela, played and owned by Leon Donoso.

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